Worship Order for
How easy it is
to allow the echoes of "Christ the Lord is risen today" to
fade into the background of our lives. Easter Sunday was only three
weeks ago, and yet it may feel like an eternity away. As we begin
worship today, letís remember the crucifixion and resurrection
story, using an old African American spiritual. Number
266 in your hymnal is more than just a retelling of what
happened long ago, however. In the refrain (on the second page of
the hymn), we add our hope that our Savior, who "arose from the
dead ... will bear (our) spirit home." We are part of the
Easter story, which is central to every day of our lives. No matter
what struggles we may face, we also will arise as Christ Jesus
brings us home.
If you can add
your "Amen" to this, if you hear truth in it and long for
this good news to sound out in your life, then please stand and add
your voice - regardless of how good a singer you are - to this choir
we call a congregation. You might want to also turn to #86 and be
ready, after we finish this hymn, to immediately launch into verse 3
we all our God." Come, sisters and brothers, letís worship the
(Worship Leader comes up with her own prayer)
from the dead," we just sang out, "and the Lord will
bear my spirit home." The sixth and seventh chapters of the
book of Revelation have been called by one commentator, "the
last word on evil" (Eugene Peterson, Reversed
Thunder, pp. 72-86). In these verses, through the
imaginative opening of seals and arrival of four horsemen,
believers are given space to look head on at evil in its various
forms - "social strife, ecological disaster, sickness unto
death, religious persecution, natural catastrophe." "Itís
all out in the open," as Eugene Peterson writes (p.
81). "Christians do not shut their eyes to the worldís
cruelty in themselves or others."
help train the praying imagination to be honest yet hopeful about
the world and about ourselves. The alternative is to grow cynical
and despairing when the wonderful songs of Easter meet the ugly
refrains we hear around us, especially in the repetitive drone of
the daily news. In the face of it all, "who can stand?"
Thatís the question with which the sixth chapter of Revelation
ends. Indeed, things fall apart. Itís far from a perfect world.
Who can stand in the face of it all?
the seventh chapter picks up. Evil, you see, is not the
last word. For oppressed African-American slaves singing about
their Savior, crucified and nailed to the cross, the risen Christ
was the last word, and in the end he will bear us home. He will
stand. Angels will stand, as well. And, wonder of wonders, so will
those who have kept the faith, even if by a thin, thin thread,
through it all. In the face of evil, not only do believers stand,
they also sing, and the song is the last word. By the way, those
of you in the International lesson class will be coming back to
this scripture during Sunday School, so listen up! Everyone who
has ears, in fact, listen.
Leader: Jesus taught us to speak of hope as the coming of God's
ALL: We believe that God is at work in our world
turning hopeless and evil situations into good.
We believe that goodness and justice
will triumph in the end
and that tyranny and oppression cannot last forever.
One day all tears will be wiped away;
the lamb will lie down with the lion,
and justice will roll down like a mighty stream.
Leader: True peace and true reconciliation are not only
they are assured and guaranteed in Christ.
ALL: This is our faith.
This is our hope.
Hymnal, #711, South African creed,
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace,
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
storyteller, Ed Lewis, spends some time with the children,
allowing the adults to overhear.
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
From the last
book of the Bible, Revelation, we turn now to the last four verses
of the book of Ecclesiastes, a bit of wisdom to chew on as we return
our offerings. Iím reading from The Message, a
scripture paraphrase. Listen.
"The words of the wise prod us to live well. Theyíre
like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are
given by God, the one Shepherd. But regarding anything
beyond this, dear friend, go easy. Thereís no end to the
publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so youíre
no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Fear God. Do what he tells you. And thatís it. Eventually
God will bring everything that we do out into the open and
judge it according to its hidden intent, whether itís good
Please pray with
(Worship Leader comes up with her own prayer)
(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)